Just Wondering About Wilfred's Seeds, Part Two

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Just Wondering About Wilfred's seeds, did they sprout for you?

We need your photos!

We came from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1065442/

Thumbnail by Molamola
Fort Lauderdale, FL

I'm not sure who your asking Melissa, you know that mine sprouted! But while I'm here I wanted to ask if anyone has heard or used Food grade Diatomaceous Earth either for pets, themselves or plants. Every thing I read about it sounds too good to be true (and you know what that usually means) I decided to buy 5 lbs and just came in from "powdering" my black sapote tree, and tomorrow sill do my orange tree since it has no flowers on yet and I won't be harming any butterfly's or bees. I'd really like to hear from anyone who has experience with it before I go hog wild and everything in my yard turns white from dusting. Jim

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

OK! Looks like we're just barely holding on to you, Wilfred, and now the Brugmansias are going to get you! Warning: you absolutely can not over water or over feed a Brug. They are the piggiest plants on Earth! And there's a well established Brugmansia forum here on DG.

I'll send you a link to the "new place" on Monday. Then you can look around without having to register.

OK,

and Hi everybody! Boy, that thread took forever to load!

Photo is a Wandering Jew, or Tradescantia.

Melissa

Thumbnail by Molamola
Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Jim, you're quick!

DE is made of microscopic sea critters, and be VERY CAREFUL to not breath it, can be extremely irritating to the lungs Better not on animals.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Microscopic "dead"sea critters ^_^, hmmm, instructions say to rub it into my cats fur? The tutorial even shows a guy mixing a spoonful in a glass of water and drinking it. Sasha, my cat doesn't have fleas, so I won't do her, but I'm thinking those nasty Sri Lankan weevils, hence my desire to dust every thing in sight outside, and maybe even in my kitchen to prevent ants. I will be sure not to breath it, although I don't think it could be worse then that dust from the volcano I read about. I'm thinking that the cold weather we've experienced just may have killed off the weevil's so will wait and see if they show up again this year or I will be swearing it was the dusting that killed them off. Heck, it killed all the iguanas, why not the weevil's?

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

I'll go see if I can find some photos for you, Jim.

OK, magnified greatly, of course. Make sure your's is "Food Grade" Lots of little spikes and sharp edges.

http://www.theothersideofthefence.org/images/diatom1.gif

Melissa



This message was edited Feb 20, 2010 5:34 PM

Greensburg, IN(Zone 6a)

I have never heard of that stuff but I wont be using it anyway'

Doris

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Well, golly, here's more

Diatomaceous earth is an all natural by product of our planet's changing environment. Made up of the fossilized remains of microscopic phtytoplankton, this dirt is an absolute death trap for anything with an exoskeleton. It's also very effective on gastropods (slugs), but not quite as much as on exoskeletal bugs.

The key to DE is it's composition. As the phytoplankton fossilized, they did so with lots of teeny tiny sharp edges poking out. Was the fossilization continued, the shape of the plankton was set into 95-98% silica. As we all know, silica is one of the best dessicants on the market, widely used in those little packets you find in just about everything nowadays.

These jagged edges pierce the waxy protective layer of the exoskeleton, opening the bodily fluids to the dessication effects of the silica. This, obviously, is a very bad thing for the bugs. The bodily fluids are rapidly depleted by the silica, leaving one very dead bug.

Imagine crossing the Sahara, but instead of sand, it's tiny shards of glass, and you get the idea.

To the safety aspect, it doesn't get much better. 100% safe for humans and pets, it's often used to treat medical conditions. In pets (and less food scrupulous humans), it is used as both a flea and tick dust, but also internally to kill off intestinal worms. In the food grade form, the worst side effect from direct inhalation is sneezing. I wouldn't try that with a No-Pest Strip

This safety margin means that it can be applied at any time. It is not a liquid, and so can't effectively be absorbed by the plant via the foliage. Sprinkled on top of the medium, it provides a dual purpose. Fungus gnat larvae live in the medium, coming up through the surface to begin they're life as gnats. With a layer of DE on the surface, they never get the chance. As you water the plant, the DE is driven farther into the medium, where it can be taken up into the plant as a silica supplement, which is good for the plant both in root health and the support structures, making it more resistant to attacks.


OK, I was thinking about the woman who said her chickens developed coughing and lung problems. But maybe she used too much or something.

I don't know the difference in Food Grade and Swimming Pool Filter Grade.

Melissa

This message was edited Feb 20, 2010 5:44 PM

This message was edited Feb 20, 2010 5:45 PM

This message was edited Feb 20, 2010 5:45 PM

Decatur, GA

This is a little off track but I have a terrible time with vine borers on squash and gourd plants. I wonder if putting DE on the stems would stop the worm from damaging or ruining the plant.
Thanks, Helen

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Really off topic, SqV borers seem to dislike vertical 'vines' I train mine up stakes. Now, I need to get rid of those huge green stink bugs, the virus spreaders. DE might help.

Melissa

Crown of thorns plants at the Ag fair---

Thumbnail by Molamola
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Helen, not off track at all, from everything I've read it would work great on your problem. I've read everything Melissa wrote above plus hundreds of pages more. This stuff seems to be the answer to so many problems I can't understand why it's not more popular. If you google Diatomaceous earth make sure you read food grade, there is another grade that they use for swimming pool filters that is not safe for consumption, and not good for animals. The other problem is that I could only buy it on line, it cost me about $13.00 for a 5 lb bag and another 12 for shipping. I understand that farmers feed this stuff to horses cows chickens it just seems to have so many uses, and is so safe, but it is a very fine powder and like Melissa said, I don't think ya want to breath it in. Jim

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Oh, one problem is that you don't want to put it on any flowers because it will kill bee's also. But b-4 a plant flowers no problem, Jim

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

On the soil around flowers should be good.

Lessee, what kind of photo can I bug you guys with this time....Hmmm... aha, some old stupid guy on my deck....

Thumbnail by Molamola
Decatur, GA

Thanks Melissa and Jim,
I am going to get some DE and try it on my squash.
Helen

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

Don't breathe DE. It can act like asbestos or fiberglass in your lungs! The fibers/particles can get in your lungs and your body can't get them out.

I have read good things about it in articles/websites on organic gardening, but haven't tried it myself. Although, if it gets rid of these blasted fungus gnats it may be worth the bother. If I used it, I would wear a face mask. I wouldn't put it on my pets, either. It would be hard to do that without breathing it. The pets would breathe and eat it also.

Sounds like brugs are plants that even I wouldn't overwater, but I doubt they would like overwintering inside for the winter - too cool and dry. Someday, I will have a greenhouse or garden room, but not today.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

GQ, Lots of northerners overwinter their brugs in a near dormant state, in their basements and other odd places that don't freeze.

Yes, that one lady used DE in her chicken's dust bath, and the poor birds all developed bronchitis. She's incensed.

I have Coleus, and umm, 'dislike' things that hurt my plants, too!

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

I'll have to keep that in mind for brugs. At the moment, I am trying seeds of their relative-datura. People seem to overwinter them dormant or in the fridge (no room in my fridge, but keeping an eye on freecycle for a small fridge for plants and such).

I hate bugs in the house even more than bugs on my plants. These little gnats are flying around my computer screen, sink, plants, driving me crazy. When I finally get a ride to Lowe's (and other places) on Thursday, I will have to look for sand and DE. People say to put sand on the surface of indoor plants to deter gnats. DE under sand may work even better!

Greensburg, IN(Zone 6a)

Darn had this whole thread printed out then it went off.
GardenQuilts I posted in the Brug threads what I use and it works for Gnats, Spider Mites, Aphids, and other insects.
When you start seeds sprinkle this powder in the soil, plant seeds and water well, when starting plants, or replanting put the powder around the root, be sure to water well as the plant absorbs the poison throught the roots and is passed on to the bugs, yep I know your waiting for the name, it is
Systemic HOUSEPLANT Insect control, I got mine from Wal-Mart last year, I am sure Lowes also has it.It is hazardess to pets and humans so make sure it's out of reach and wash hands after using.

Doris

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Thanks Doris. I have one poor little coleus, the kind with the tiniest leaves, that's just loaded. I sprayed with neem, and that just killed a lot of the leaves, booo!

Aww, poor guy, Doesn't look like that now, durn hateful mealy bugs.

I'm going straight to the garden center now...

Thumbnail by Molamola
Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

Thanks for the tip, Kareoke!

I'll be going to Walmart also (most likely will be cheaper there, but not always). Systemic houseplant insect control dust is on the list! Is it similar to Sevin? Do you know the active ingredients?

I hit many of my plants with sevin, but don't want to use it on my culinary herbs.

I have tried what I have on hand -neems, sevin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, chamomile tea, dilute peroxide- I seem to have gotten the mold under control, but am not making any headway on these little flying bugs. They are most likely fungus gnats, but could be whitefly, I may have both. They are so bothersome that I brought the bug zapper inside and hung it in the downstairs "guest" bathroom where my begonias and amaryllis spend the winter. It suits the decor, pots of dirt, bulbs hanging in bags and a bug zapper. The cat is the only one who uses that bathroom, anyway, she gets a kick out of the bug zapper.

Arlington, TX

Seeds arrived and I planted them per instructions. Bought a system that heats the seeds (10-15 degrees) so they will stay warm. I beleive the little things can grow, I believe!
C

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Good News, C! grow grow grow!

And, GQ, use as little Sevin as possible, that stuff is really nasty, as you probably know. And, yes, I know it's been around a long time.

We should have a whole website on fungus gnat control.

Melissa

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

I know how nasty sevin is, which is why I still have a nearly full container of it! I wear a mask when handling any chemical, even when cleaning the bathroom! I just can't cope with bugs in the house. I can't wait until it is warm enough to move the plants outside! (I get like this every February, last year it was aphids, learned how to stop them with neems/baking soda/soap)

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Sometimes I think about collecting silk plants.

Arlington, TX

LOL no u don't! Bugs are part of the process. I have gnats in the plants at school and the kids are always complaining. I bought some sundews and now they want to see the gnats!
C

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

My neighbor has silk flowers. You have to clean the dust off them, so they are not carefree. I have a single silk rose in the bathroom, that is it for silk flowers here. I was tempted by a silk orchid in a shop, but deterred by the price. it looked almost real, roots and all! Given my lackluster adenium seed starting efforts, I may have to find a silk one.

My neighbor was recently redoing one of her arrangements and said that her cat had peed in it. It was sitting on her dining room table in a large crystal bowl, don't want to even think about that. I have never dined there, but her place does suffer from "eu de chat". My cat uses her litter box and stays off the furniture, otherwise she would be homeless (or outside). At the moment she is sitting on my feet, purring. I'll have to wake her and tell her what a good kitty she is!

I love the excitement when a plant is about to bloom. If they were blooming all of the time, I might not appreciate them as much.

Arlington, TX

There is always buying a DR. I see them at home depot sometimes and they aren't that pricey, at least not the small ones. I don't have plants for the look, I have them for the process of growing, so no silk plants would work for me.
C

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Funny story here: when I moved to Florida, 5 years ago, I invited my DG friends over for dinner. I had planted a silk phalaneopsis orchid's bloom stalk in with a real dendrobium. Everyone was looking at it but not saying anything until someone bit the bulled and asked. Priceless.

Then, we were at a friend's and I told her how gorgeous her oncidiumorchid arrangement was, only to be told it was silk. I should always carry my reading glasses with me. My eyes are playing tricks on me. I'm not getting any younger.

Sylvain.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

YarYar Yar, as in laughing.

I worked shortly for the Kaiser Aluminum Billionaire family. Betsy casually said, "Oh, They can't tell the Silk from the real'"

Lovely, civilized people. the 'old' money. I worked myself out of my job, repotting hundreds of Dendrobiums, and others, as well as the roses.

New money jerks bull dozed the place, then got caught, financially, the Stanford creep. I should have saved the flowers, by the trunkfull every day going home from work. I would have had hundreds of orchids now. But they (weep) are all dead now.

Can someone please tell me the difference between saving and stealing?

Greensburg, IN(Zone 6a)

If your 'Saving" it's not stealing but try to tell that to money people, they only know you took it.


Doris

Pocono Mountains, PA(Zone 6a)

I have "saved" some bulbs when neighbors moved away and left them behind. I would make a terrible criminal. I discretely dug them up while walking the dog, under the guise of picking up after the dog. I am sure that I looked as guilty as I felt. Just as well, the real estate people go around with weed killer and weed wackers, killing everything except grass and shrubs.

Too bad that you didn't manage to save some orchids. It must have been tempting to propagate a few while you were repotting them.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Well, I wasn't living a stable life back then, and didn't have a place to give them a home.

I'm so accustomed to moving every year, or more often, that I haven't put many things in the ground here, even tho' I bought the house a little over a year ago. Odd me!

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

Here's my report on the seeds...

Wilfred's Seeds ---2 seeds germinated
Hybrid Seeds from Snowbelt Adeniums -- 25 seeds germinated

All of these are growing still. Some look bad, but most look ok.

Christiansted, VI(Zone 11)

Echin, how were the Snowbelt seeds packaged?

(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

I think they came in an bubble wrap envelope. I bet almost every seed they sent germinated. They look like a good mixture too. Some plants have red/purple tint on the back of the leaves and reddish stems. I hope they stay that way! Some have really light green stems, etc. Some dark green. It's obvious they sent a very good variety of seeds.

This message was edited Feb 23, 2010 11:28 AM

Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

Hi Everyone

I am finally back in my home. The volcano is really quiet and hopefully it will stay that way.
Most of my plants were destroyed.

My desert rose, all 200 of them are fine and looking a little dusty but they are all fine WOO HOO! But the best part was what welcomed me home.

Take Care
Tina

Thumbnail by tbmontserrat
Isles Bay, Montserrat(Zone 11)

Most of my DRs were in bloom and thriving, I was so happy!

Thumbnail by tbmontserrat
(Clint) Medina, TN(Zone 7b)

Awesome! They look great.

Delray Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Oh what a great day. You are like a ray of sunshine on this otherwise damp, dready, rainy day we are having here. Your house is still in one piece, you're all right and you didn't lose your desert roses. They even bloomed. This is going to sound silly but maybe you should market that ash for desert rose growers. I would be willing to sprinkle it with a sieve on my desert rose. I shouldn't talk. Mine lost all its leaves in the cold weather. It is pushing more leaves out and a few blooms, too. Could it be that the most adverse conditions force the plant to perform more?

Anyhow, I'm glad you're back in your home safe and sound.
Sylvain.

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Welcome back Tina, you've been missed. Your D.R. look great. Should I tell Sylvain how you fought through the spewing volcanic fire and dust to grab me some oleander seeds! ^_^ Jim

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